Rock Out With Your Crock Out on Wiener Wednesday

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Photo:Misha Grosvenor
Kyle Schmitt chows down on a tasty wiener.

Due to our current recession economic downturn, there has been a resurgence of potluck groups nationwide. Wiener Wednesday is just one of many new potluck groups popping up all over South Florida.

When I first found out about Wiener Wednesdays from Deirdre Funcheon, managing editor at New Times, I dropped to my knees and thought, "Yes! My prayers have been answered. Finally a group that shares my passion for mystery meats in a tube."

My second thought -- how many bad wiener jokes can I fit into one blog post? 






On Wiener Wednesday, the second Wednesday of each month, a group of friends, neighbors, and coworkers in Fort Lauderdale commune to celebrate their love for mystery meat, domestic beer, and a healthy competition.

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Photo:Misha Grosvenor
The Russian Trio try out Ryan and Kate McInerny's tapenade.


Guests are asked to bring creative toppings for everyone to slather on their wieners. At the end of the night, votes are cast for the best topping. The wiener (that's one, if you're counting) gets to display the coveted Wiener Wednesday trophy in their home as well as don the official Wiener Wednesday costume at the following month's event...

Photo:Misha Grosvenor
September winner Lindsay Way with her mother, five-time wiener champ Mary Jane Matthas.


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Photo:Misha Grosvenor
The Wiener's Cup.
 

I contacted Kim Cantor, one of the group's organizers, to find out if I could crash this month's event and put everyone to shame with my stellar toppings. Cantor, against her better judgment, gave me the green light, and I spent the next two weeks waiting for Wiener Wednesday like a kid waiting on Christmas Day.

Previous toppings have included items like mango chutney, pulled pork, and tzatziki. It was clear that I would have  to bring my A-game.



Pineapple-cilantro salsa? Eh.

Wasabi mayo, soy sauce, and cabbage? Amateur. 

Foie gras? Pedestrian.
 


Not satisfied with the choices I was coming up with, I did what anyone who hates to lose would do; I cheated. In my shameless attempt to crush the competition, I searched online and stumbled upon a New York dog called the Hong Kong Phooey -- pineapple, bacon, chives, and teriyaki sauce.

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Photo:Misha Grosvenor
The Bangkok.

After a quick name change to "The Bangkok" and a pit stop at Publix, I was ready to take the crown. 

Or so I thought...

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Photo:Misha Grosvenor
The official Wiener Wednesday toppings board.


When I arrived, the toppings table was filled with everything from spicy homemade ketchup to pink rose petals. 

Photo:Misha Grosvenor
Stiff competition -- pink rose petals and Capt N' Crunch chipotle.

More unusual toppings with names like "That Looks Like Something I Threw Up" -- a beer, cheese, and pretzel combination -- also graced the table.

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Photo:Misha Grosvenor
The contenders.
  
By the end of the night, it was clear that my pathetic ingredients were no match for toppings like Capt' N Crunch chipotle or the winning topping, Hash Brown Surprise, a combination of sour cream, hash browns, cheese, and corn flakes.

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Photo:Misha Grosvenor
The Wiener!

Defeated, I turned to five-time wiener champ and local caterer Mary Jane Matthas to find out what I could to do next time to secure the golden weenie trophy. Her secret weapon? A crock pot.

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Photo:Misha Grosvenor
The secret weapon!

OK, South Florida, help a sister out. What topping ideas do you have  that will help me put the smackdown at next month's Wiener Wednesday?   

Are you an expert weenie topper? Are you the coordinator of a cool potluck group that I can crash? List your topping suggestions and potluck invitations in the comments section
below.



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